Rashford goal seals United victory in Spain

Having secured a 4-1 victory in the first leg at Old Trafford, Manchester United travelled to Real Betis’ Benito Villamarín in a bid to cement their place in the quarterfinals of the Europa League. Casemiro featured in the starting lineup, as his four-game ban does not apply in European competition.

BET: Silva; Abner, Gonzalez, Pezzella, Sabaly; Carvalho, Rodriguez; Juanmi, Joaquin, Ruibal; Perez

MUN: De Gea; Malacia, Martinez, Maguire, Wan-Bissaka; Fred, Casemiro; Rashford, Fernandes, Pellistri; Weghorst

Ayoze Perez found himself through on goal within the first five minutes after a poor pass from the United defence gave the hosts possession, but despite a slip from Harry Maguire, the Spaniard couldn’t get a threatening shot off and the chance came to an end.

Wout Weghorst picked out Marcus Rashford with a beautiful pass from midfield, and the England star played in Facundo Pellistri who was surging up the pitch centrally – but the Uruguayan couldn’t make the chance count.

Casemiro directed Bruno Fernandes’ corner towards Weghorst, who was mere inches away from heading home to put the tie to bed early on – but the Dutchman couldn’t find the back of the net. A chance at the other end saw Ayoze Perez play in Juanmi, who tried to bury it into the bottom-right corner, though his strike was sent marginally wide of the far post.

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There were to be plenty of chances for Real Betis – with Joaquin coming incredibly close to scoring the opener on the night, but a deflection saw his strike hit the outside of the post before flying behind for a corner. Los Verdiblancos certainly weren’t going to give up easily, and Joaquin attempted to play in Perez – but the ex-Leicester forward wasn’t quite on the same wavelength.

Perez found himself through on goal once again, though this time David De Gea was just able to beat his fellow Spaniard to the ball to deny Betis a crucial opener. Los Béticos had produced a number of chances within the opening fifteen minutes, and it surely wouldn’t be too long before one of them came to fruition.

Bruno Fernandes unleashed a speculative strike from distance, and while it curled towards the top-left corner, it never really came close to threatening Rui Silva between the sticks. The Red Devils should have taken the lead soon after, as Fernandes whipped in a ball that found Marcus Rashford in the box – but his chested effort was straight into the arms of Silva who made an easy save.

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Having picked up an early injury, Abner Vinicius was replaced by Juan Miranda with 25 minutes played – and the substitute attempted to find Ayoze Perez almost immediately, but there was too much on the pass and it sailed into the hands of David De Gea.

A phenomenal pass over the top from William Carvalho was played into the path of Juanmi, but a great save from David De Gea denied los Verdiblancos a moment to savour in front of a packed-out Benito Villamarín.

A flurry of chances before the break could have seen either side take the lead, but neither team was able to do so – meaning United still held a three-goal aggregate advantage at the interval in Spain.

Rashford had a few chances at the beginning of the second half – firing one shot over, before another was saved with ease by Rui Silva. He finally found the back of the net in the 55th minute though, unleashing a sensational strike from 25 yards out that nestled beautifully into the bottom corner to send United 5-1 up on aggregate.

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Marcel Sabitzer could have bagged a second for United ten minutes later, as he found the end of Bruno Fernandes’ through ball, though Rui Silva was able to save his low strike. A few chances for both sides in the final twenty minutes could have added a fiery twist to the end of this game – but ultimately United ran out as comfortable victors with a 5-1 aggregate win, meaning they’ll progress to the quarterfinals.

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